Shanghai

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Jason Blue is a 1950s hard boiled detective out of San Francisco. He's hired to go down to pre-Castro, decadent Havana to find a rich American lost in the tropical turmoil of sex, drugs and politics. The result is nothing like anybody expected. Cynical, sexy and thrilling, Jason joins the ranks of world weary professionals like Sam Spade and Phillip Marlow, doing the job well, no matter the cost.

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Published: Feb. 28, 2010
Words: 7,450
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452368382
About Alex Abella

A New York Times Notable Book author, Emmy-nominated TV reporter and screenwriter, Alex Abella is the author of Soldiers of Reason: The Rand Corporation and the American Empire, a study of the world's most influential think tank, published by Harcourt. Alex was the first journalist to have full access to RAND's files in Santa Monica, California.

Abella's non-fiction work includes Shadow Enemies, a non-fiction account of a plot by Adolf Hitler to start a wave of terror and destruction in the United States.

Born in Cuba, Alex migrated with his family to the United States at age 10. Alex grew up in New York City, winning a Pulitzer Scholarship to Columbia University. Moving to California, Alex joined The San Francisco Chronicle as a general assignment reporter. Later Alex switched to electronic media and was hired at KTVU-TV, Channel 2 News, where he became producer, writer and reporter and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Breaking News Story.

Alex moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s to pursue a writing career. While in Los Angeles he worked as assistant to a private investigator and as a Los Angeles Superior Court interpreter. His experiences inspired him to write a legal thriller, The Killing of the Saints, featuring a Cuban-American hero, Charlie Morell, who's a lawyer and private investigator. The novel, published by Crown in 1991, was a New York Times Notable Book. Paramount Pictures optioned The Killing of the Saints and commissioned Alex to write the screenplay.

Alex's second novel, The Great American, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1997. The Great American recounts the true adventures of William Morgan, a U.S. Marine who fought in the mountains of Cuba with Fidel Castro. The sequels to The Killing of the Saints, Dead of Night and Final Acts, were published in quick succession. The trilogy has won praise from critics and prominent writers such as Michael Connelly, T. Jefferson Parker and Robert Ferrigno.

Alex is married and lives with his wife and children in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

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Reviews

Review by: B. A. Wallace on April 21, 2010 : star star star
If you feel like a nostalgic trip into the life of a 60s private eye, full of careless violence and even more careless sex, the kind of roughly written pulp fiction you used to read as a kid, then this is for you.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Doug Pardee on March 20, 2010 : star star star star
A well-written entry in the genre (the first page aside).

I didn't get as much feeling for Jason Blue--the PI--as I thought I should have in a first-person detective story. I also found the ending a bit flat, but that may be the nature of the genre; I don't read much hard-boiled detective fiction.

A note: in keeping with the period, the story contains a number of racial slurs.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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